Faked - Karla Sorensen
I didn't always have a crush on Finn Davis. There were about ten minutes there, back in seventh grade when he showed up, that he really pissed me off.
Not because of anything he did, per se. Because he's always been the same guy. Quiet and observant when he was in public, a knife-sharp sense of humor and playful personality when he was with people who knew him the best. No, Finn was the recipient of my thirteen-year-old rage for those ten minutes because he was the reason I hated being a twin for the first time in my life.
Lia and I were identical. Teachers and fellow students often confused us if they didn't know us well.
On that day in seventh grade, when the principal brought Finn into our classroom, Lia and I met him at the same time. But there was something about her, some energy buzzing at an undetectable level, that drew his attention and made him feel comfortable.
They'd been best friends ever since.
And I hated that I looked like her—exactly like her—and was still different enough that the sweet, shy new boy in class, the one with a cute smile and long legs, didn't look twice at me.
I didn't think about that day much anymore. It was eight years ago, and Finn was such a fixture in our family that my crush had lessened to a low-lying simmer. Barely detectable unless you held your hand directly over the heat.
But then I opened stupid Facebook. And saw a picture of him in his stupid “I'm going to be a doctor someday and don't I look good in blue” scrubs, and I felt my heart die all the deaths from how cute he looked.
So now I couldn't stop thinking about the day he appeared.
Couldn't stop thinking about him.
Which is why I avoided my sister by locking myself in my room to study. I was so afraid that after all the years of locking up the butterflies that wanted to flutter through my veins at the sight of him, she'd take one look at me and know.
It worked, too, for a while.
When I felt my fingers burn with the urge to pull up the picture again to stare at his smile, at his dimples, and pretend I'd be a great doctor's wife someday, I pulled up the one thing on social media guaranteed to stop any sort of heart flutters.
I searched for social media updates from our mother, Brooke, which was even more pathetic than my crush on Finn.
Crossing my arms on the surface of my desk, I dropped my forehead down, banging it a couple of times for good measure.
That was how I was sitting when my bedroom door burst open.
"What's your problem?" Lia asked.
"Nothing." I kept my head right where it was.
Lia leaned over me, dumped her shit on my desk, and pulled my laptop out from underneath my forearm so she could see it. Honestly, nothing was sacred when you lived with your twin.
Except my crush on her best friend.
"Oh," she said meaningfully.
"Did your neck break? Are you incapable of moving?"
She chomped on something loudly. Carrots. Or celery. When she swallowed, she spoke again. "Cyberstalking Brooke again?"
Instead of answering, because I didn't particularly want to lie, I grunted.
"Didn't we decide she was in India?"
With a sigh, I stared at the wood grain on my desk and tried not to think too hard about how easily we could discuss the fact that the woman who gave birth to us was Lord knows where in the world, and we didn't even really care anymore that we didn't know where.
The sound of a clicking mouse preceded a thoughtful hum from my twin sister. "Nope, someone tagged her in ... huh, a concert in Germany. She's on the move, I guess."
Lia sighed loudly. "Have fun with that." With two patronizing pats on the back, she left me alone again.
When I heard cupboards slamming in our postage-stamp-size kitchen, I lifted my head.
"Chicken shit," I whispered to myself. Like she'd somehow be able to see my “picture of Finn in scrubs” feelings stamped on my face.
This was what happened when my feelings couldn't be muted by my brain. They were louder than I wanted, and I hid them less successfully.
Turning my laptop back to me, I drummed my fingers along the edge, trying to decide what to work on next.
The paper for my Early Childhood Intervention Strategies class was in desperate need of revisions, but even one of my last classes before